With the death of Geoffrey Ainsworth Harrison on September 14, 2017, Human Biology lost the last of a distinguished group of international scholars who innovated a new scientific approach to the study of human variation after World War II, and who contributed mightily to the subsequent International Biological Programme (IBP) that laid the foundations for much of today's human biological research. In his autobiographical article in the Annual Review of Anthropology (2010), Harrison eloquently expounded on a career that took him from “Bones to Hormones” and featured some interesting investigational turns that probed the genetics and adaptation of mice and men.Geoffrey A. Harrison in the Australian OutbackA poignant reminder of the relative youth of Biological Anthropology is the event that brought Harrison into it as an undergraduate: a lecture from legendary Robert Broom on Australopithecus. Ironically, in his first formal employment as a temporary department demonstrator in the Anatomy Department at Oxford University, he was complicit in validating the Australopithecus narrative by helping to debunk Piltdown man. Under the instruction of Joseph Weiner, he re‐created a good imitation of the Piltdown jaw, providing the conclusive evidence that the specimen was fraudulent (Harrison, )!His emergence as a human biologist came
American Journal of Human Biology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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